Monday, August 25, 2014

Sometimes words pour like poinciana blossoms

In early summer the blossoms fill the air with red flurries that pile up in ankle-deep scarlet snowdrifts. Vainly I try to hold them in my arms, catch them, but they spill over onto the driveway.  I bend to gather them and the wind snatches them in rosy gusts. Down the street I run to save them, so they are not lost forever.

Sometimes words pour like poinciana blossoms. I can't write them down fast enough. They slip through my fingers, swirling away like mutinous feathers on my writing ship. I chase them feverishly.

Nothing, not even imminent danger deters me from my syllabic quest.

Danger, such as driving and (gasp) texting sudden inspiration on the Florida turnpike. It's the fomo (fear of missing out) on a thought, phrase, lyric or idea that might escape like a canary from its cage. I type these words in my iphone notes section while driving to work behind an 18 wheeler.

Mid-sentence, a mindless person parked on the right shoulder opens his door into traffic. The truck breaks suddenly in front of me. Out of nowhere a wasp randomly lands on my bare left knee. I shriek, spring off the driver's seat, frantically brushing the venomous insect away, still catching words like fireflies. I break behind the truck in time.

Where's that wasp! Crawling the floor ready to fly up and stab his stinger firmly in my flesh? I have no choice but to keep driving.  Resigning myself to the fact that the worst the bug can do is cause a moment's pain.

I'm going to freaking kill myself and someone else, trying to capture these fleeting words!

Some days there is not a letter to be found and blogging death looms surely.

Like the first year we planted the sapling poinciana tree and Hurricane Wilma came through and shredded the young branches and tender leaves, pulverizing every plant in its path.

We thought it was dead. Killed by 120 mile an hour winds.

You think the stories will never come back to life and the brown, bare branches of thoughts will never spring green again.

(That's why a studied gardener plants the tree behind the house, not in front. It's deathly barren during our warm winters next to the proud palms, evergreen. But my husband insisted the poinciana be in the front yard so he could view it from his office window, and remember his brother Jimmy. Friends had given us the tree in honor of his brother's untimely death at age 50).

The tree was not dead, only dormant, regaining life, hidden to viewers on the outside, but alive and well on the inside, resting, recharging to soon revive itself.

And after winter's barren cycle, the tiny leaves bud and the blossoms pop out green and firetruck red soon after.

June comes and  poinciana petals fill the driveway again. Thoughts resurrect from the grave of the blank page. And once again, wading through ruby blossoms, I gather up words in a basket.

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